A BALLAD ON THE MURDER OF MR HAYES BY HIS WIFE

Title

A BALLAD ON THE MURDER OF MR HAYES BY HIS WIFE

Synopsis

Execution by strangulation and burning at the stake of Catherine Hayes on May 9 1726 for the murder of her husband Mr Hayes by beating and dismemberment with an axe.

Set to tune of...

Chevy Chase

Transcription

In Ty-burn road a man there lived
A just and honest life,
And there he might have lived still,
If so had pleased his wife.
Full twice a day to church he went,
And so devout would be,
Sure never was a saint on earth,
If that no saint was he!
This vext his wife unto the heart,
She was of wrath so full,
That finding no hole in his coat,
She picked one in his scull.
But then heart began to relent,
And griev'd she was so sore,
That quarter to him for to give,
She cut him into four.
All in the dark and dead of night,
These quarters she conveyed,
And in a ditch in Marybone,
His marrow-bones she laid.
His head at Westminster she threw,
All in the Thames so wide,
Says she, 'My dear, the wind sets fair,
And you may have the tide.'
But Heav'n, whose pow'r no limit knows,
On earth or on the main,
Soon caus'd this head for to be thrown
Upon the land again.
The head being found, the justices,
Their heads together laid;
And all agreed there must have been
Some body to this head.
But since no body could be found,
High mounted on a shelf,
They e'en set up the head to be,
A witness for itself.
Next, that it no self-murder was,
The case itself explains,
For no man could cut off his head,
And throw it in the Thames.
Ere many days had gone and passed,
The deed at length was known.
And Cath'rine, she confess'd at last,
The fact to be her own.
God prosper long our noble King,
Our lives and safeties all,
And grant that we may warning take,
By Cath'rine Hayes's fall.

Method of Punishment

strangulation; burning

Crime(s)

murder

Gender

Date

Execution Location

Tyburn

URL

Catherine Hayes Murderpedia entry
See also, Tales from the Hanging Court, by Time Hitchcock ad Roberk Brink Shoemaker (2006), pp. 48 ff

Citation

“A BALLAD ON THE MURDER OF MR HAYES BY HIS WIFE,” Execution Ballads, accessed June 25, 2022, https://omeka.cloud.unimelb.edu.au/execution-ballads/items/show/838.

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